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These cornmeal pancakes are ultra fluffy and golden! Fry up a stack and drizzle with maple syrup for a satisfying breakfast.

Cornmeal Pancakes

There are so many types of pancakes, from buttermilk to blueberry to cottage cheese. Here’s one that rises to the top of our list: Cornmeal Pancakes! These tasty flapjacks are crisp and golden on the outside, with a fluffy interior that tastes just like cornbread. Top them with a drizzle of maple syrup and a pat of butter and they’re perfect for a morning breakfast or special brunch! Our son Larson especially gobbled these down (though he has yet to meet a pancake he doesn’t like!).

Ingredients in cornmeal pancakes

Cornmeal pancakes are a fun cozy breakfast, and come out beautifully fluffy and golden. The magic ingredient? Buttermilk, which makes that airy texture and adds a hint of tang to the flavor. You’ll want to use the real stuff here (no substitutes!). Otherwise, you might have all the other items on hand in your pantry and fridge. Here are the ingredients for cornmeal pancakes:

  • Fine ground cornmeal
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Egg
  • Salted butter
  • Buttermilk
Cornmeal

Use real buttermilk for the best results

Buttermilk is absolutely crucial to making a light and fluffy pancake with a beautiful crumb. Many people, ourselves included, are often tempted to use even a buttermilk substitute: the most popular is milk and lemon juice (or another acidic ingredient like apple cider vinegar).

But for the best flavor and rise, it’s got to be the real thing! The substitute can work in a pinch, but there’s something about the flavor and texture that’s luxuriously rich when you use actual buttermilk.

Cornmeal Pancakes with cornmeal in cup in background

Tips for cooking cornmeal pancakes

Cornmeal pancakes come together in the same way as any other pancake. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, then cook on a skillet until golden brown! However, there are a few nuances to the process that are helpful:

  • Use a large griddle: a non-stick surface is helpful. Some griddles have uneven heating, so use a quality griddle or skillet. A non-stick surface is a plus, though you’ll still want to cook the pancakes in butter to get them golden brown.
  • Experiment to find the right heat level. Medium low heat is ideal, but it’s different on every stovetop. It should take a few minutes to get the pan up to heat. If the heat is too low, the pancakes won’t puff as much when cooking.
  • Don’t worry if the first pancake isn’t perfect! Use it as a test for honing in your pancake skills and adjust the heat accordingly.
  • The batter sometimes becomes very thick while waiting for the second batch. If so, add a teaspoon or two of buttermilk until the batter is pourable. 

Mix-ins, toppings, and variations

Want to mix up these cornmeal pancakes? It’s fun to add mix-ins to add a burst of flavor. You can also add fun toppings to step them up. Here are a few ideas:

  • Blueberries: Pour the batter into circles on the griddle, then place a handful of blueberries into the top of each pancake (this works better than mixing them into the batter). 
  • Strawberries or raspberries: Add a handful of sliced strawberries or raspberries to each pancake while it cooks.
  • Pecans: Add a hint of nutty flavor with a handful of finely chopped pecans in each pancake.
  • Fruit syrup or compote: Top the pancakes with blueberry syrup or strawberry compote for a fruity contrast.
  • Nut butter: Try them slathered with almond butter for hearty breakfast.
Syrup pouring over pancakes

Cornmeal pancake leftovers and storage info

Cornmeal pancakes are easy to store: they’re actually great as leftovers. Store them refrigerated for tasty snacks with nut butter and a little maple syrup. Cornmeal pancakes store in a sealed container for up to 5 days refrigerated and 3 months frozen. It’s a nice way to extend the life of a batch.

What to do with leftover buttermilk

Most buttermilk recipes don’t use the entire container. What to do with the remainder if you buy it for these cornmeal pancakes?

More recipes with cornmeal

Got cornmeal? Here are a few more cornmeal recipes to use it:

This cornmeal pancakes recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use 1-for-1 gluten-free flour. For vegan, use a flax egg in place of the egg.

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Cornmeal Pancakes

Cornmeal Pancakes


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

Description

These cornmeal pancakes are ultra fluffy and golden! Fry up a stack and drizzle with maple syrup for a satisfying breakfast.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ¾ cup fine ground cornmeal
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons melted salted butter, cooled
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and kosher salt. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, melted butter, and buttermilk.
  2. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then stir gently to combine until the batter comes together and is pourable but slightly lumpy.
  3. Lightly butter a skillet or griddle and wipe off extra grease with a paper towel. Heat the skillet to medium low heat. Pour the batter into circles (about ¼ cup). Cook the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top and the bottoms are golden. Then flip them and cook until cooked through. If the batter becomes very thick on the second batch, add a teaspoon or two of buttermilk until the batter is pourable. 
  4. Place the cooked pancakes under an inverted bowl to keep them warm. Repeat with the remaining batter, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain an even temperature. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Cornmeal pancakes

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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7 Comments

  1. Great recipe! I made these over the Easter break for the kids and the feedback was very positive.

  2. This was a great recipe and easy to follow to boot. The photos used really do it justice. Thanks for sharing

  3. I loved the taste and texture of these. It kind of reminds me of when my dad would slice leftover/stale corn muffins and fry the slices in butter to give them new life. Be sure to keep the heat lower than you would for regular pancakes. I topped mine with honey and hot sauce. Jalapeno jelly or mango habanero salsa on top would have been amazing, too. Sadly, my kids didn’t like them, whether plain, buttered, with honey, or maple syrup — just isn’t what they’re used to. (They don’t like cornbread or corn muffins, either.)

  4. Loved these! Mine came out, flat but I believe it was the oat flour and scoop of collagen I added. They were still some of the best pancakes I’ve ever made. I will keep trying to get them as perfect as the ones in the recipe picture.

  5. Hello Sonja & Alex, I appreciate the recipe you shared! :) This morning, I prepared these pancakes for my children’s breakfast, and I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty they turned out. To be honest, cornmeal is not an ingredient I use frequently in my cooking, so this was only the second time I used it. The pancakes had a moist and delightful texture. As for toppings, I enjoy making homemade marmalades during the summer months. This time around, I made blueberry and cranberry marmalades, which we generously spread on our pancakes :)

  6. These were fantastic! My kids are pancake fiends but picky about new things so i wasnt sure how well these would go but they loved them and were begging for more.